TPM News

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo -- the same guy who said we should send the president back to Kenya and said a Supreme Court nominee is part of the "Latino KKK" -- said this weekend that the new Arizona immigration law goes a little too far.

"If I had anything to say about it, we'd be doing it in Colorado," Tancredo told Denver news station KDVR. But, he said, "I do not want people here, there in Arizona, pulled over because you look like should be pulled over."

The law, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday, requires law enforcement officers to demand immigration papers from anyone they have a "reasonable suspicion" may be in the country illegally.

Read More →

At a superficial level, the impasse over financial reform looks an awful lot like the early days of the health care fight, with Republicans and Democrats meeting privately to reach an elusive, perhaps impossible compromise. And we all remember how that story ended. But peer closely and the two stories are different in so many ways, politically and philosophically, that it's hard to imagine this turns into health care redux.

Perhaps the most important distinction is the politics. Republicans just don't want to go down killing Wall Street reform legislation. That's why they've softened their tone, and that's why they say they're confident they'll ultimately be able to vote for a bill. No doubt they don't mind a bit of delay--every day spent negotiating is another day the Senate doesn't address climate change, immigration, the coming Supreme Court nomination and on and on. But they can't keep up a weeks-long ruse that they're negotiating in good faith, when in fact they aren't, like they did on health care.

Read More →

The attorney driving the story of the Birther Army doctor facing a court martial for refusing orders is a former Republican Hill staffer and current personal injury lawyer who has dabbled in anti-gay activism and reportedly wrote a letter to the FBI tipping off the feds to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's use of prostitutes, months before the scandal publicly broke.

Attorney Paul Rolf Jensen runs a California law firm, Jensen & Associates, that focuses on bread and butter personal injury cases involving dog bites, seatbelt failure, and asbestos exposure.

But, says the GOP operative Roger Stone, a friend and sometimes client of Jensen's, he should not be underestimated when it comes to the case of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin.

Read More →

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is calling for a possible lawsuit against his state over it's new immigration bill. And former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who's challenging Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the state's August 24 Republican primary, is now calling on his opponent to repudiate Gordon.

"If John McCain truly supports the bill, he needs to repudiate and denounce the Mayor's position and stand up for Arizona instead of standing by his friend and supporter who is out touch with the people of this state," Hayworth said in a press release.

Gordon endorsed McCain in this year's Senate race, and endorsed him in the 2008 presidential election, too.

Read More →

It's been nearly three whole weeks since Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden advocated using the barter system to lower health care costs and talked about how folks in her grandparents' generation would pay a doctor with a chicken. But chicken references remained part of the Nevada Senate race this past weekend, with Lowden joking about it and the Dems continuing to pounce.

The subject did not come up at this past Friday's Republican primary debate, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. But Lowden did make a sly reference to it, in a question over whether the candidates would repeal the newly-enacted health care legislation.

"I've become an expert in health care in case you didn't know," Lowden quipped.

Read More →

To fight off damaging publicity in the wake of the explosion earlier this month that killed 29 West Virginia miners, Massey Energy has turned to a firm run by a top communications specialist from the Bush White House.

Austin-based Public Strategies has been advising Massey's board on how to respond to questions about the disaster and the board's oversight of the company, the Wall Street Journal reported last week, citing people familiar with the matter. Dan Bartlett, who ran President Bush's PR operation, is Public Strategies' president and CEO. Republican consultant Mark McKinnon, who played a leading role in Bush's presidential campaigns, is another principal.

Read More →

The big reveal of a bipartisan energy bill has been temporarily postponed with Democrats attempting to sound confident but with no clear path for the measure to make its way to the Senate floor this year.

As we reported as the news broke Saturday, Sen. Lindsey Graham defected from the bipartisan trio that was writing a new energy bill aimed at forging consensus between Republicans and Democrats. Graham (R-SC) suggested that Democrats are playing politics with immigration, which doesn't leave the legislation with much of a chance at passage.

His partners in the effort, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) have said they want to move forward anyway, but a press conference scheduled for today was canceled. Capitol Hill aides tell me that talks have resumed between the group and they may convince Graham after all.

Read More →

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll suggests that Democrats can move forward on financial reform with the confidence that the public stands behind them.

An overwhelming majority of Americans want increased government oversight of the nation's financial infrastructure as the country slowly begins to recover from the collapse of 2007, the poll finds. Sixty-five percent said they support "stricter federal regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business." That's good news for a White House that chose financial reform as the next legislative fight after the divisive health care debate.

The poll shows that Americans lean toward favoring the specifics Democratic financial reform agenda, though they still don't understand some of it. On the politics side, however, the public seems to have made up its mind about who to trust on reform: 52% say they trust President Obama to reform the system, while just 35% say they trust the Republicans in Congress to do a better job.

Read More →

When President Obama's Debt Commission holds its first meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. they will consider nothing too sacred to be examined for cuts -- even the new health care reform law, the leaders said.

Former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles (D) and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R) said on "Fox News Sunday" they can't be limited if Obama really wants to make the tough choices to cut the deficit significantly.

Simpson said the commission will use "only" Congressional Budget Office figures and not use their own projections to estimate the future cost of Social Security and health care.

Read More →